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Royals' Jordan Lyles: Works to add velocity
Lyles trained at Tread Athletics to increase his velocity and adjust his curveball this offseason, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Lyles allowed a hit and a walk while striking out three over two scoreless innings versus the White Sox on Thursday. He used his cutter more during his Cactus League debut, so it remains to be seen if his offseason work on his fastball will pan out. Lyles had an awful 2023 with a 6.28 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 177.2 innings, but he also made 31 starts and pitcher a career-high three complete games. He projects as an innings eater at the back of the Royals' rotation in 2024.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Nick Loftin: Embracing utility role
Loftin is preparing to fill a utility role in 2024, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Loftin has played all around the infield in his minor-league career, so it's not too much of a defensive adjustment. He's also working on the back fields in the corner outfield. Without a defined position, it's tough to see Loftin getting more than a short-side platoon role to begin the year. That said, the versatility will be valuable to help him stick in the majors. He hit .323 with an .803 OPS over 68 plate appearances in his first big-league audition last year. Those numbers, especially fueled by a .392 BABIP, likely won't last over a longer sample, but he can still be a useful bench bat and defender even if he is a little less consistent.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Hunter Renfroe: Making spring debut
Renfroe (back) is batting fifth as the designated hitter in Friday's spring game against the Athletics.
The veteran slugger has been held out of spring games thus far due to lower-back tightness, but he'll join the lineup for Friday's contest. Renfroe struggled to a .713 OPS last season after topping .800 the previous two seasons, and he'll be a key lineup piece for the Royals after signing a two-year, $13 million deal.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Brady Singer: Committed to four-seamer, sweeper
Singer plans to utilize a four-seam fastball and sweeper more often this season, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Singer began implementing the pitches a little late last season after some initial hesitation. This season, though, he's committed to using them as integral parts of his repertoire, adding them to his sinker, gyro slider and changeup. All three swinging strikeouts he induced during his Cactus League debut Wednesday versus the Mariners came on the sweeper. Singer has predominantly been a two-pitch pitcher in his career (the sinker and slider) and has struggled to miss bats with consistency. Perhaps the four-seamer and sweeper will allow him to pile up more strikeouts.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Seth Lugo: Successful in spring debut
Lugo pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a hit, a walk and a hit batsman while striking out one in his Cactus League debut Monday versus the Cubs.
Lugo admitted to some nerves before the game, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. Lugo is embarking on his first season with the Royals after spending his first seven major-league campaigns with the Mets before pitching with the Padres last year. The right-hander projects to be one of the Royals' top starters after pitching to a 3.57 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 140:36 K:BB over 146.1 innings last year, his first as a full-time starter since 2017.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Christian Chamberlain: Suffers torn UCL
Chamberlain was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his left elbow Tuesday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The 24-year-old experienced elbow tightness during Saturday's spring game and is now looking at a lengthy absence. Tommy John surgery is often the remedy for a torn UCL, but the next steps for Chamberlain have yet to be officially determined.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Carlos Hernandez: Shut down from throwing
Hernandez (shoulder) received a cortisone injection Tuesday and has been shut down from throwing, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The right-hander threw a bullpen session Saturday, but his sore right shoulder didn't respond well after resting for the previous two weeks. It's unclear when Hernandez will resume throwing, but his availability for Opening Day is now very much in question.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Hunter Renfroe: Returning soon from back injury
Renfroe has been held out of the Royals' Cactus League games thus far due to lower-back tightness but is expected to play Wednesday against the Mariners, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Renfroe is participating in the Royals' workout Monday and looks to be nearly over the hump with his minor back issue. The veteran outfielder signed a two-year deal with Kansas City this offseason and is expected to be the club's everyday right fielder, with some starts at designated hitter also likely mixed in.... See More ... See Less
Royals' John McMillon: Tosses live BP
McMillon (forearm) is scheduled to throw live batting practice Monday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
McMillon has yet to make his Cactus League debut, but now that he's facing hitters again, he doesn't seem to be far from getting in his first game action of spring training. The 26-year-old right-hander reached the big leagues for the first time last August and struck out eight over four innings of one-run ball out of the Kansas City bullpen before he was shut down for the season with a right forearm strain.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Christian Chamberlain: Dealing with elbow tightness
Chamberlain reported tightness in his left elbow during Saturday's spring training game against the Rangers, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Chamberlain is slated to undergo testing on his elbow, and the Royals will have an update on his status when the results come back. The 24-year-old southpaw reached Triple-A for the first time last season, where he accumulated an 8.51 ERA and 2.07 WHIP across 24.1 innings while striking out 35 batters and walking 28.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Josh Taylor: Clear for spring games
Taylor (back) is listed as an available pitcher for Saturday's Cactus League game versus the Rangers, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Taylor pitched just 17.2 innings last season with the Royals, posting an unsightly 8.15 ERA, 1.75 WHIP and 26:9 K:BB. He was shut down after undergoing surgery for a herniated disc in July. Taylor had a couple of good seasons with the Red Sox before injuries wiped out most of his last two campaigns. He'll need a strong spring to compete for a roster spot in the Royals' retooled bullpen.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Carlos Hernandez: Throws bullpen session
Hernandez (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Saturday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Saturday's session marked the first time Hernandez has thrown off a mound in two weeks as he works his way back from right shoulder soreness. The Royals kept the intensity relatively low to begin with, and Hernandez will require several more mound sessions before potentially returning to play in spring training games.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jake Brentz: Available for start of spring games
Brentz is listed as available for the Royals' Cactus League opener versus the Rangers, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Brentz looks ready to get back into contention for a spot in the Royals' bullpen after missing most of the last two seasons. He's recovered from Tommy John surgery in 2022, and it doesn't look like he'll be hampered by the lat strain that ended his comeback attempt in 2023.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Carlos Hernandez: Recovering from sore shoulder
Hernandez hasn't thrown off a mound in two weeks because of right shoulder soreness, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
The good news is that Hernandez is expected to be cleared for a bullpen session soon and should still be able to get in enough work before the end of spring training. The hard-throwing right-hander had a terrific first half and dreadful second half in 2023 and will be trying to work his way back into high-leverage appearances.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Vinnie Pasquantino: Starting Cactus League opener
Pasquantino (shoulder) is starting at first base and batting second in Friday's Cactus League game against the Rangers.
The 26-year-old underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last June but is ready to go to kick off the spring schedule. Pasquantino posted an .833 OPS in 72 contests as a rookie in 2022, but the shoulder injury limited him to just 61 games last season.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Kris Bubic: Shifted to 60-day IL
The Royals placed Bubic (elbow) on the 60-day injured list Friday.
A spot on the 40-man roster was needed for new addition Austin Nola. Bubic has begun throwing off a mound but will be sidelined until around midseason while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Austin Nola: Shifts to Royals
Nola was released by the Brewers and signed a major-league deal with the Royals on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Nola was in camp with the Brewers on a minor-league deal, but he became expendable after the team added Gary Sanchez. He was released as a result but quickly found a new deal with the Royals, where he's likely to compete for the backup catcher role with Freddy Fermin (finger). Across 154 plate appearances with the Padres in 2023, Nola posted a .146/.260/.192 line.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Kyle Isbel: Favorite to start in center field?
The Royals believe Isbel is their best option in center field, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Isbel has graded out as an elite defensive center fielder the last two seasons, which looks to give him a leg up over Drew Waters even as he hasn't hit much. Waters is viewed as a quality defender himself but has played as much right field as center field. The left-handed hitting Isbel appears to be the favorite to at least start against righties, with Waters representing an option versus lefties.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Josh Lester: Joins Kansas City on MiLB deal
Lester agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals on Sunday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Lester's contract presumably includes an invitation to big-league spring training, though the 29-year-old is likely a long shot to make the Opening Day roster and is expected to begin the campaign at Triple-A Omaha. The first baseman appeared in 11 games in the majors for the Orioles in 2023 but otherwise spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A Norfolk, slashing .257/.307/.475 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI over 469 plate appearances.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Kris Bubic: Fares well in first bullpen session
Bubic (elbow) said he felt good following a 15-pitch bullpen session Tuesday, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports.
Bubic threw all fastballs in the session, his first since undergoing Tommy John surgery last April. He experienced no soreness a day after the session and will get back on the mound again Friday. The 26-year-old is expected to gradually increase the intensity and length of his bullpen sessions over a nine-week period before facing hitters. Assuming he hits no unexpected snags in his throwing program, Bubic could be ready to return from the injured list at some point around the middle of the summer.... See More ... See Less